Two agencies under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) umbrella, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), announced May 2 that they have signed an agreement to . provide a more comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to address foodborne health hazards potentially associated with meat and poultry products.

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will document the procedures and responsibilities under the collaborative effort between APHIS and FSIS in assessing root cause in outbreaks of foodborne illness in humans, according to FSIS officials. It will facilitate the sharing of information between agencies and assist in making science-based decisions on mitigation or intervention strategies.

The MOU outlines mutual roles and responsibilities for the training of personnel and the planning of interagency assessment of FSIS-regulated establishments as part of foodborne illness investigations and health hazard evaluations. The MOU does not modify any existing interagency collaborative work.

To read the MOU, visit